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California’s Unentitled Generation Of College Applicants

The moment had finally come for Kiana Portillo, a senior at Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles. She had worked so hard and overcome so much to get to this point: an abrupt move from Honduras to Los Angeles as a fifth-grader, merciless teasing over her limited English and heavy Spanish accent, financial hardship and the emotional void left by an absent father. But supported by teachers who tutored her over lunchtime and fed her intellectual hunger, Kiana had built a standout college resume: mostly A’s and rigorous courses heavy in math and leadership roles, including co-founding the school’s first feminist club.